What does it mean by, "Man plans his ways while God directs his steps"?


Proverbs 16:9

ESV - 9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

Clarify Share Report Asked June 27 2015 1432647868 Patricia Corominas

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
In my opinion, this verse is saying that, although a person can make a plan of action that he intends to follow in order to achieve a desired objective, it is ultimately God who controls the implementation of that plan, and who determines the plan's outcome through the ordering of both the planner's actions, as well as events over which even the person's plan can have no influence or control.

This verse also implies that God is able to use the actions not only of people who, in the planning of those actions, seek to do God's will, but also of people who do not seek to do God's will (or who even actively oppose God), for the accomplishment of God's ultimate purposes.

June 28 2015 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Img 5726 Leslie Coutinho
Proverbs 16:9: A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.

The proverbs of Solomon tell us that everyone may think their actions are right, but if they entrust their works to the Lord, their thoughts will be established. David, who was considered a man after God’s own heart, (1 Sam 13:14) succumbs to lust and commits adultery, leading him to cover up his sin in a deceitful way. Despite planning his ways showed disregard for the Lord, for he then confessed his sin to Nathan, and the Lord revealed unto him that He put away his sin and he shall not die. Bathsheba later became his loyal wife and the loving mother of King Solomon who was the wisest ruler, despite not being David’s firstborn son. (2 Sam 12:13,24/1Kings 3:12)

Ruth, who dealt kindly with Naomi, her mother-in-law, and her family, clung to her and stayed back. She then planned her way and went to glean the ears of corn left over after the reapers, knowing that she would find grace among the people who were reaping the corn. (Lev 23:22/Ruth 2:2) As the preparations of her heart led her, her motives were weighed out, leading her to be committed to all the works of her hand unto the Lord. Her thoughts were established by the Lord directing her steps (Prov 16:1-3) for then she found grace from the kinsman of Naomi's husband, a mighty man of wealth in Elimelech's family whose name was Boaz. (Ruth 2:1-2,8)

Daniel had an excellent spirit in him and Darius set him over the whole realm, but the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against him. These men who sought to find an occasion against Daniel knowing the law of his God established a royal statue, but Daniel kneeled on his knees three times a day in his own house and gave thanks before his God as he did aforetime. As the Lord directed his steps Daniel was then cast into the den of the Lion's for God then sent His angel to shut the lion’s mouth, for thus his enemies were made to be at peace with him. (Daniel 6:3-4,10,22/Pro 16:7) 

Jeremiah 17:10: I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

June 16 2024 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

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